Physiotherapist – occupational predispositions. Level of flexibility

Weronika Gallert-Kopyto, Andrzej Knapik, Dagmara Wasiuk-Zowada, Anna Brzęk, Małgorzata Domagalska-Szopa, Andrzej Szopa

W. Gallert-Kopyto, A. Knapik, D. Wasiuk-Zowada, A. Brzęk, M. Domagalska-Szopa, A. Szopa – Physiotherapist – occupational predispositions. Level of flexibility. FP 2016;16(4);130-140

Abstract

Background. Possibly high level of functional efficiency is not only the foundation of human welfare, but it also plays an important role in fulfilling social functions, including professional functions. Among professions in which physical fitness is an important element of the quality of work stands out the profession of physiotherapist. Flexibility is one of the components of physical fitness. In those professions, which are characterized by volatility of positions and different effort load, the appropriate level of flexibility seems to be of particular importance.
Aim of the study. The aim of the study was to determine the level of mobility (flexibility) of the trunk among physiotherapy students. It was also decided to investigate how such variables as gender, age, morphological parameters, past and current physical activity are related to the present level of flexibility.
Material and methods. 341 people have been examined: 289 women (84.25% of the total) and 52 men (15.25%). The average age of the study group was: 20.26 years (SD = 1.69) for women; 19.85 years (SD = 1.73) for men. All of these persons were physiotherapy students.
Following data have been collected: age, past sports and physical activity – according to the Baecke questionnaire. Anthropometric measurements and three – plane measurement of the flexibility of the spine have been also made.
Results. There have been weak relationships between morphological parameters and flexibility – only in women. Physical activity strongly differentiated the level of flexibility among women in a sagittal plane (p <.05) and a transverse plane (p <.001; p <.002), a similar situation is with past sports: a sagittal plane: (p <.001) and a lateral plane on the left side (p <.05). In men, only past sports differentiated flexibility in a transverse plane on the right side (p <.05). Conclusions. The level of flexibility varies individually, especially in a sagittal plane. Gender, age and morphological parameters in young adults are poorly associated with the flexibility. Past and current physical activity have a positive influence on the trunk functional efficiency. Keywords: functional efficiency, trunk flexibility, physical fitness, three – plane measurement of the flexibility, physiotherapy profession

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